FOOTBALL LEAGUE veteran Jay Spearing is reportedly close to making a SHOCK return to Liverpool nine years after his departure.
The 33-year-old junior has spent the last 12 years of his professional career playing in the lower leagues.
Spearing played for Leicester City, Bolton, Blackburn and Blackpool before joining hometown club Tranmere Rovers.
The midfielder spent two years at the club, helping them achieve consecutive top ten finishes in the second division.
According to that telegraphSpearing will now return to Liverpool as a player-manager at the academy.
He will take on an innovative development role initiated by youth director Alex Inglethorpe.
A former Liverpool academy captain, Spearing will help coach some of the younger age groups.
Liverpool are one of a number of Premier League clubs taking advantage of recruiting top-tier professionals who are nearing the end of their playing careers.
The idea is to find players who can help nurture the next generation.
Last summer, Manchester United signed the then 35-year-old Hull City centre-back Paul McShane.
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McShane has now retired to focus solely on his coaching career.
He told United website: “I now call it a day of games.
“I’ve played for 20 years and returned to the club as a player-coach in the Under-23s. It’s been a great year and experience but now it’s time to focus fully on the next phase of my career, who will be in coaching.
“It’s amazing how things are developing. It’s a great opportunity to end my career, come back here and help the future generation with their careers.
“To be honest, when this role came about it was perfect and I’m grateful to the people who made it possible. I think it’s a great way to end my active days.
“I am proud). Sometimes when you’re on the journey itself, you can get lost in it.
“It’s a career that has had a lot of ups and downs and so many challenges, but now I think I can look back and have fond memories of different stages in my career.”